No surprise, right? You know me well enough by now to know I’m a fan of lentils.. protein packed, full of fiber & all kinds of vitamins and minerals, and readily available on island. But really I like them because they cook quickly, are versatile and mostly because they are darned tasty. What’s not to love!?
So I stumbled across a recipe for lentil meatballs recently and thought hmmmm….OK, not really a meatball kind of gal, but lentil burgers, heck ya! So I did some modifications and came up with an awesome lentil burger that freezes well, reheats in the oven or in a frying pan (no microwave on board here!) and even crumbled up nicely as a taco filling last night! And BONUS: it’s kid approved ~ my 13 year old even requested them for dinner recently!! Now THAT’S a seal of approval!
This makes plenty to freeze (I froze them in individual zip locks for easy grabs – just warm on the stove with a small bit of oil or in the oven). Also, don’t feel limited to carrots and zucchini here – grate whatever veggies you have on hand to add to this – beets might be nice! Chickpeas might be a great add too….what else can you think of? Let me know in the comments if you tried this and any variations that worked (and those that maybe didn’t too!!
- 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups water
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking spray or oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs or corn flake crumbs
- 2 tbs. ground flax seed
- 3 Tbs. gf Vegan Worcestershire sauce OR2 Tbs. soy sauce plus 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. each paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbs. chickpea flour plus 2 Tbs. water
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the lentils and a pinch of salt and return to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let cool and move the lentils to a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a fork, potato masher or your hands until they are completely mashed.
- Heat a large skillet and add the oil or cooking spray. Sauté the onions for about 4 minutes until translucent. Add the zucchini, carrot, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes until the veggies are tender.
- Add the hot veggies to the lentils in the bowl. The heat will help soften the lentils. Add the parsley, bread crumbs, flaxseed, Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce and vinegar), and spices. In a separate little bowl or cup, put 2 Tbs. of chickpea flour. Add 2 Tbs. of water and mix into a loose paste. This will act as a binder. Add the flour and water mixture to the bowl.
- Mix everything well. Hands work best. If the mixture seems too loose, add more bread crumbs. If it feels too dry and tight, add water or non-dairy milk.
- Heat the large skillet again with a tablespoon of oil. While it’s heating, form the lentil mixture into little balls. Wet your hands, scoop up about 2 Tbs. worth of the mixture (more or less depending what size you like your balls) and roll between your open hands until it is shaped like a ball. Let them rest for awhile (you can even refrigerate them) so they will hold their shape better.